BS EN ISO 7010 and Safety Signage

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What is BS EN ISO 7010?

A standard is an agreed ways of doing something, written down as a set of precise criteria so they can be used as rules, guidelines or definitions. Although they are not the same thing as government regulations they are often used in legislation to provide the technical detail. The British Standards Institution (BSI) is the UK national standards body which produces technical standards and supplies certification and standards-related services to businesses. BS EN ISO 7010 sets out the colour, shape and graphical symbol required on safety signs.

Why is BS EN ISO 7010 important?

BS EN ISO 7010 standardises the look and meaning of a large number of safety signs.
The workforce is becoming more and more mobile, meaning non-native speaking workers are at a disadvantage understanding text-based safety instructions as well as those with poor eyesight, reading difficulties and other disabilities. This poses a safety risk and the solution was to create an international standard for safety signs using pictograms which are internationally agreed and globally used to achieve clarity and consistency, regardless of language, culture or setting. It is an essential reference point for :

  • Manufacturers of signs and symbols
  • Fire safety advisory services
  • Health and safety risk assessors
  • Risk assessors for areas involving aquatic activity
  • Public space health and safety managers, e.g. at airports, for railway companies, hospitals, retail spaces, workspaces, theatres and cinemas
  • Event planning organizations

What safety signage regulations do you need to comply with?

The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 require employers to ensure that safety signs are provided and maintained in circumstances where there is a significant risk to health and safety that cannot be controlled or removed by other means. BS EN ISO 7010 requires that this signage conforms to standard and applies to all workplaces, sectors and locations, with the exception of some very specialist signs used in maritime and transport environments.

However, it’s important to remember that these regulations make it clear that safety signs are not a substitute for other ways of controlling risks to employees. For example, a company should seek to separate moving vehicle and pedestrian areas wherever possible rather than just rely on safety signage advising caution.

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Safety sign colour coding

Safety signage has designated colour coding rules with each colour having its own meaning.

  • Green is a safe condition category sign. These include first aid, fire exit and emergency safety signage
  • Red is a prohibition and fire equipment category signs. Red prohibition sign will show that certain actions and behaviour must be avoided in that location, for example no access, no smoking or no food. Fire equipment signs are also in red and are used to both show the location of fire fighting equipment as well as alarm activation points.
  • Yellow is a hazard or warning sign normally represented in a equilateral triangle and featuring the words danger, caution or warning. Examples are tripping hazards, forklifts or flammable gasses.
  • Blue is a mandatory or “must do” signs giving clear guidance or instructions on what actions must be taken. For instance, the wearing of PPE (personal protective equipment), using a machine guard or sounding your horn.

SG World’s Safety Sign Range

SG World have been manufacturing safety solutions and signage for over 50 years. We have one of the best ranges of safety signs in the UK, covering hazard/warning signage, access and traffic control, fire safety and construction. HSE guidance requires all employers to ensure that safety signs are provided and maintained for the safety of their employees
Our safety signage helps businesses make the workplace a safer place and where applicable, are designed to meet the UK and EU legislation (BS EN ISO 7010).

Based in Crewe, we design and print our own range, offering a variety of materials and footprints, backed by great service and quality control. We also offer a full customisation service with an experienced design team ready to offer help and advise on creating your perfect sign graphic.

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